by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
I did not have an opportunity to watch the Congressional hearing about reparations, but this article from The Chronicle of Higher Education caught my eye. The author writes,
Julianne Malveaux, an economist and former president of Bennett College, in North Carolina, presented evidence for reparations based on postslavery abuses. How African-Americans were prevented from securing public lands, or had their own land expropriated. How lynchings deprived them of the opportunity to accumulate wealth. How federal housing policies buttressed redlining and segregation.
“Economic structure has generated an inequality that makes it difficult for people to live their lives,” she said. “When ZIP code determines what kind of school that you go to, when ZIP code determines what kind of food you can eat, these are the vestiges of enslavement.”
I do not know how Dr. Malveaux feels about school choice, and it’s possible that the quote attributed to her requires additional context. But the idea that ZIP code assignment is a vestige of enslavement is a powerful argument for, at minimum, public school choice.
And, getting back to the topic of the article, I agree that professional historians should have been invited to testify. It reminds me of 2011 article from The Onion, “Historians Politely Remind Nation To Check What’s Happened In Past Before Making Any Big Decisions.”